Out and About WRAL.com
Raleigh, North Carolina — In an effort to boost rural North Carolina’s economy, VisitNC and Airbnb are teaming up to highlight small-town stays.
Last year, new Airbnb hosts in North Carolina earned a total of $75 million — and that doesn’t include the extra bonus local businesses receive when people book stays in a small town.
Whether you’re looking for something elegant or rustic, Airbnb has something for everyone. As the weather warms, people are eager to get out and visit North Carolina’s gems like the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Outer Banks.
The difference between staying with Aibnb versus a hotel is that you are supporting a local business owner. Additionally, the experience is more intimate due to the relationship guests have with their hosts.
“These rural destinations have so much to offer those looking for a new vacation destination or even a new temporary home,” said Airbnb communications manager Haven Thorn.
Enter to Win a Vacation in North Carolina
To encourage people to travel to North Carolina, VisitNC and Airbnb are running a contest where people have a chance to win a $1,000 Airbnb resort voucher, a $500 Visa gift card and gift cards for three local businesses and attractions.
“The hope is that they’ll take the gift card and go into rural North Carolina to some of these off-the-beaten-track destinations,” Thorn said.
The contest started on April 25 and ends on October 31. Five people have the chance to earn money for their holidays. Winners will be randomly selected based on three entry periods.
The first period begins on April 25 and ends on June 30, the second begins on July 1 and ends on August 31, and the third begins on September 1 and ends on October 31.
To participate, go to the VisitNC website.
Be Inspired: Rural Vacations in North Carolina
There are many hidden gems across North Carolina that can give you a taste of a new community and culture. Take this “Modern Treehouse” located on Lake Hyco in Semora.
“Sunsets are surreal and perfect for relaxing in the hot tub, hammocks, dock, or paddle board,” Micheal’s Airbnb listing reads.
An unexpectedly beautiful stay is located in Norlina, about an hour north of Raleigh, near the Virginia state line. The Tiny House costs just $76 a night and promotes sustainable living.
The farm has animals on site to really give you that farmhouse feel.
Just outside of Asheville, in Fairview, there’s a little cabin by the creek for around $260 a night.
It includes a sauna and spectacular views. The hosts will provide free organic farm fresh eggs.
If you miss the country, there are plenty of farm stays in North Carolina. In Biscoe, a town in Montgomery County, southwest of Raleigh, guests have the option of living on a farm for a few days. Guests have access to miles of trails, local food, a bird barn, lamb barn, and tobacco barn.
“On a working farm, you learn new skills and work alongside your children and spouse, learning together, while helping to support the growth of a sheep farm and a solar farm in the rural area. of North Carolina,” the Airbnb listing reads.
“Everyone is learning new skills, how to do simple but rewarding work on a farm, and enjoying farm-fresh food and how to prepare it.”
If you don’t want to stray too far from the city, check out this little getaway to Efland in Orange County.
The tiny house is located on a small organic farm surrounded by flowers, chickens and vegetables. The stay is only a 10 minute drive from downtown Hillsborough.
One of North Carolina’s most popular Airbnbs, at an affordable $162 a night, is in Morganton along the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The small cabin is perfect for two people who want to enjoy the stunning views of the North Carolina mountains – it has a hot tub and a porch for that.
The Airbnb stay sits on “one of the highest peaks in Burke County,” according to the listing.
How Airbnb impacts the local economy
Airbnb saw a 130% increase in people booking stays in rural North Carolina from 2019 to 2021, Thorn said.
The campaign hopes to help North Carolina’s tourism economy rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism is a big part of the state’s economy, and last year North Carolina brought in a near-record number of tourist dollars to the state.
Governor Roy Cooper announced this month that North Carolina reported $28.9 billion in visitor spending in 2021.
Many people looking to cash in on the start-up economy or start their own business are flocking to Airbnb. According to an analysis of data from Stratos, 14,000 new hosts join the platform every month.
“Since our inception, the Airbnb platform has helped communities use existing space to scale accommodations and absorb the influx of visitors while creating significant economic opportunities for hosts and small local businesses,” said Thorn.
Airbnb brought in a total of $33.8 billion to the US economy.